COLOR the walls blue or green
Different colours and light levels have different psychological effects, so the ideal situation is to install a lighting system that allows you to alter the hue and brightness of your room to suit the kind of work that you’re engaged in.
- Blue and green have been shown to enhance performance on tasks that require generating new ideas
- Red has been linked with superior performance on tasks involving attention to detail
- The dimmer environment fostered superior creativity in terms of idea generation, probably because it encourages a feeling of freedom
- Brighter light levels were more conducive to analytical and evaluative thinking
Optically, surfaces in cool colours seem to recede, whereas warm colours, such as orange and red, appear to be closer. Walls rendered in cool colours make space feel like it’s expanding outward, while walls in warm hues can make the same space feel as if it were contracting. blue and green indicate that exposure to these hues also improves creative problem solving
Ceiling height has also been shown to have psychological effects. A 2007 study found that a higher ceiling was associated with feelings of freedom, together with a more abstract and relational thinking style that helped participants see the commonalities between objects and concepts. The most common method of enlarging interior space beyond its enclosing walls is to open it up to the outside by means of windows, French doors, and screens.
The more expansive our sense of surrounding space, the more prone we are to generating original and useful concepts for new products, services, and methods.
According to a 2009 study out of the University of British Columbia, people perform better at tasks requiring creative problem-solving skills under ceilings 10 feet or higher compared to eight-foot ceilings. For instance, a space decorated with vertically striped wallpaper will appear taller than the same space painted in a solid colour or embellished with horizontal stripes.
“Experimental data and construal level theory support the idea of a direct relationship between proximity and cognitive style. Near things elicit narrow focus. Farthings elicit a holistic outlook.”, Jarrett, C. (2019)
If you only do one thing to optimize your workspace, invest in a green plant or two. Research has repeatedly shown that the presence of office plants has a range of benefits including helping workers recover from demanding activities and lowering stress levels. As a bonus, there’s also evidence that plants can reduce office pollution levels.
Window with a view
Another feature of an optimized office is a window with a view, preferably of a natural landscape. This is because a glance at the hills or a lake recharges your mind.
Another means for inducing the mental awareness of physical distance is to embellish your home office with artwork and decorative pieces that suggest far away places and open space. Consider displaying images of landscapes and urban views, travel posters to exotic locations, cultural artifacts from distant countries, or memorabilia collected from trips you’ve taken.
Jarrett, C. (2019, August 21). The Perfect Workspace (According to Science). Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://99u.adobe.com/articles/17437/the-perfect-workspace-according-to-science
Rattner, D. M. (2017, June 30). How to Use the Psychology of Space to Boost Your Creativity. Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://medium.com/s/how-to-design-creative-workspaces/how-to-use-the-psychology-of-space-to-boost-your-creativity-4fe6482ef687